Brussels considering plans to overcome Polish and Hungarian budget veto

European flag at Downing Street
Photo by Call Me Fred on Unsplash

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Brussels is considering ways of pushing ahead with the creation of the EU’s Covid-19 recovery fund without the participation of Hungary and Poland, a senior European Commission official has warned, piling pressure on the two countries to drop their veto over the union’s budget.

According to reports on the FT and news agencies an official is quoted saying that the 25 EU member states could proceed with setting up a planned €750bn pandemic recovery fund next year to act as a “bridge” until Hungary and Poland reversed their veto over the bloc’s overall €1.8tn budget and recovery package.

The fact that the commission is contemplating such an extreme fallback option highlights the severity of the stand-off with Warsaw and Budapest, which governments fear will derail the EU’s recovery from the pandemic by freezing billions of euros of aid for struggling economies. EU leaders are due to meet in Brussels next week to discuss the budget crisis after Hungary and Poland doubled down on their objections to a rule-of-law mechanism they say targets their countries.